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RISMEDIA, June 15, 2009-(MCT)-Real estate statistics in May continued to show Northeastern Minnesota on the rebound.

The number of properties sold in May was 156, a 30 percent increase from April and only 5 percent behind the 165 properties sold in May 2008.

“The trend is that the market is picking up,” said Pat Johnson, president of the Duluth Area Association of Realtors. “People are becoming more comfortable with the housing market and are realizing the Duluth market isn’t going to deteriorate like larger metro areas.”

Johnson said the first-time homebuyer tax credit contributed to the positive statistics, along with the typical seasonal increase seen in the area.

Other positive signs were increases in the median sale price and the number of properties on the market, with a decrease in the average days spent on the market. The median sale price rose to $132,000 in May, up from a 2009 low of $112,900 in March. Properties for sale leapt to 1,930 in May from 1,484 in February. The average days on the market fell from 86 in April to 76 in May.

“All those factors show the market might have bottomed out — with properties for sale and median prices — and we are bouncing back up,” Johnson said.

The news is tempered when the numbers are compared to last year. Last May’s median sale price was $144,000 and the number of properties on the market was 2,021.

Copyright (c) 2009, Duluth News Tribune, Minn.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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